♪ theme >> good morning, i'm morgan radford and these are some of the stories we're following at this hour. >> for our military operations will not cease. >> defiance and determination as the assad regime faces growing pressure from the west. >> new dangers as the nation's biggest forest fire threatens critical water and energy supplies and not to mention america's cherished trees. >> extreme flooding in mexico triggering landslides claim the lives of 13 people. >> it's a very short trip, but a very steep price. we'll tell you about amateur astronauts ponying up big bucks for a ride in outer space.
>> the syrian government is firing back, saying it will defend itself using all available means in case of a strike. british prime minister david cameron recalled parliament from a summer break to discuss syria tomorrow. u.n. inspectors hit yet another road block. their investigation on site being delayed. the syrian government says it's not our fault. david jackson is on the ground in lebanon to get the story straight. the syrian foreign minister said if the west used military action, the syrian government wouldn't stop its own military campaign. does this put the u.s. in position where it now has to act in order to just show strength?
>> well, i guess so, morgan, yeah, it's a pretty tough position. it's an interesting point with that what we've heard from the foreign minister is they are defiant, denying the chemical weapons use and saying if the united states or coalition of the willing, as it may turn out to be, goes ahead and launches attacks, pinpoint though they might be into syria, syria will respond. we don't know what that means or what extend. fighting on the ground from the syrian forces and rebel forces would almost certainly pick up again immediately following those strikes. a lot of the people here in lebanon and all over the region saying they don't know if those strikes will have a powerful impact on what's happened over the last two and a half years in syria in terms of the civil war. they simply have to wait and see, and just try to determine how much fire power is thrown at the syrians if that's what develops, but everybody is expecting it over the next few days. >> you mentioned the fire power,
but early this morning, the syrian foreign minister told secretary kerry that the syrian government was absolutely not obstructing the work of the u.n. so why do their investigations keep getting delay said and are they really ever going to be able to just do their job? >> well probably not. this is a situation where people are in disbelief, do not believe what comes from the syrian regime. they don't believe the foreign minister saying they are not obstructing the u.n. inspectors. they have blamed that on the rebels. it could be that there is problem within the rebel camp. it's only a one day delay, but the feeling is that the syrian are trying to buy time, even if it is just one day, so that they can arrange themselves militarily, basically amountses to a retreat to abextents from some of the locations would be hilt or could be hit if there is a cruise missile strike, so even
a one day delay they believe is helpful to that regime and the the cynical among people have said that that is probably behind the syrian decision. >> thank you so much, david jackson, live from beirut. >> u.s. ambassadors both past and present are taking to twitter to blast the assad regime. current ambassador susan power tweets: >> a similar statement coming from current white house national security advisor susan rice, herself a former u.n. ambassador. she tweets. >> their comments follow those from secretary of state john kerry calling it both
inexcusable and undeniable, the use of chemical weapons. >> given the comments from the obama administration, does the u.s. now have to take military action? >> it would seem to be that way. they've painted themselves into a corner and found a corner within a corner and painted themselves into that as well. it's hard to see how short of assad coming out and agai againw president-electing before the world would change things. >> there i see no appetite in this country for another military intervention in the middle east or anywhere else. the president, when his time
comes, his messaging will be about this is not boots on the ground, this is more like libya, where we were able to go in with our allies and conduct very specific strikes, and we change the outcome of that conflict without putting lives in danger. >> are there any circumstances whatsoever that assad could actually maintain power? >> well, the president has said assad has to go. when the american president says something like that, there is an expectation that he will follow up. with president obama, it's been a while since he said that and nothing has happened. short of a major military operation, which no one's talking about, it's hard to see how this, an air strike by itself would change, would persuade assad to leave. what it could do is weaken him
enough that it would give the rebels an upracing against him a new lease in life and persuade assad's close ally to say rethink their loyalty to him. if some senior generals in the syrian military felt they faced anilation from the skies, her happens they would be willing to listen. this is a long shot. let's be clear. at the moment, all the penalties needs to do or wants to do is to save face. he has said assad has to go, he has talked repeatedly about red lines, and in the last 24 hours, we've heard john kerry use very strong language about what's going on in syria particularly with the chemical weapons. at this point, the administration has to do
something. i suspect that's pretty much all they're looking at right now. >> thank you so much. we're following a story out of sued dan where the red cross said several of their workers kidnapped in darfur have been released. they were abducted by unknown armed gunman while returning to their base sunday. six of them have been released and red cross officials are now in contact with all political military an tribunal authorities for the safe release of the remaining two workers. we'll have more on this story as it develops. >> fire crews are making progress, albeit slowly on the growing rim fire. the fire which coffers more than 250 square miles is now 20% contained. it's located on the edge of yosemite national park and it's just one mile from the reservoir that provides san francisco with most of its drinking water. city officials are testing the water daily to insure it is not
contaminated. >> meanwhile, president obama promised to deliver whatever resources california needs to recover, as aljazeera's melissa chen tells us, the pledge came in a phone call to governor jerry brown. >> firefighters have made some headway, but the rim fire continues to make its way north and east. more resources arrive by the hour. this has become a top national priority. on monday, california governor jerry brown visited the area. >> whatever it takes, i'm going to make sure that the resources are deployed, and the president called me just yesterday. he expressed his support, whatever we need, he'll provide, so between the state and the federal government, and local officials, we'll get it done. >> battling the flames has been tough. crews worry about the fires advance to new communities. there may be more evacuations. containment levels might be
higher, but we're days into the fire and it continues to rage. >> firefighters win some ground and lose it elsewhere. the fire swept through this camp, torching trees and melting metal. the danger is not over. there's still the task of preventing fires from reigniting. thousands of firefighters from across the country are here. the tough topography makes this a dangerous assignment. >> we recognize this area in the national farrest has had a history of fatality fires in the last 30 years to firefighters. we are very cognizant of the terrain and take it very, very seriously. >> while it may have been beaten back a bit, it's far from beaten. melissa chen, aljazeera, west of yosemite national park, california.
>> tropical storm fernand left 15 people dead in mexico. all of the deaths were caused by mud slides that buried homes. 200 people were told to leave their property. in addition to the extreme weather in mexico and california, some parents of the country are dealing with above normal temperatures. for more on the morning national forecast, let's bring in meteorologist dave warren. >> above normal temperatures, plus the humidity will make the heat index feel like 105-110. the area we're talking about, right here in the northern plains. the temperatures at this hour are only up to just about 80 in minneapolis. when it's that warm, before we start seeing the heating of the day, you know the temperature has climbed to near 100 degrees. from omaha, nebraska, fargo, this area is receiving excessive heat. the region includes just to the west of lake michigan, so it's expanding now as the temperatures will continue to
climb. chicago will be up to 95 today, then cooler tomorrow with a shower or thunderstorm. here comes some relief. the temperature's dropping just below 90 there on thursday, friday, and saturday. after a passing shower or storm, we'll see some relief there. the tropics, the tropical storm has weak end as it moved overlapped. in the pacific, that area of showers and storms expected to develop. we'll watch that closely as it could intensify. arizona could see showers and storms again, a lot of rain could lead to flooding. flash flood watches in effect for much of the state because of that reason. there is excessive or a lot of rainfall coming down, in this area, heavy rain expected in the next 24 hours. the rainfall not coming where we need it, though, in northern california. you see it turns off to the east and just clips some light rain in idaho and montana, but not in oregon or california.
the satellite picture showing the smoke from the rim fire and not much else. we are seeing dry weather continuing out west along with the heat. >> thanks so much, dave. he went on a shooting spree that killed 13 and wounded dozens more. major nidal hasan faces life in prison or even the death penalty as the sentencing phase of his trial begins. >> he was acquitted in the shooting death of a florida teen. why george zimmerman now says the state of florida owes him hundreds of thousands of dollars. >> i'm john henry smith. the tigers miguel cabrera continued his march toward another triple crown monday night. highlights from motown coming up in aljazeera america sports.
>> more witnesses are expected to testify today in the sentencing of major nidal hasan. he's the army psychiatrist convicted last week of gang down 13 of his fellow soldiers in 2009 at tort hood. it appears we may hear from the 42-year-old before his punishment is handed down. live with us from the texas army post is heidi zhou-castro. hassan admitted to the shootings, but has he shown remorse since the proceedings began? >> no remorse whatsoever. he was emotionalless. yesterday as we heard one after another, family members of the victims talking about their unmeasurable loss. hassan declined to cross those relatives, using that soft spoken measured voice. now, there was any indication of what was going on underneath that masked exterior, he did ask for frequent breaks between the
testimony, perhaps some sign of disquiet. meanwhile, elsewhere in the courtroom, you couldn't find one pair of dry eyes, because this testimony was so moving. we heard about children growing up without their fathers, we heard from one man who lost not only his daughter, but also the grandchild that was in her womb, so obviously, very moving, heart-breaking testimony that appeared to move everyone in the courtroom, everyone but hassan. morgan. >> you mentioned this emotional testimony. what's the likelihood hassan will be sentenced to death? >> most are saying it is very likely, morgan. the government has already proven its case for aggravating factors. we saw that in the multiple murder convictions, so now the only hurdle left to cross for this panel is whether there are any mitigating factors. you look at hassan with his lack
of remorse, his insistence on continuing as his own attorney. it's unlikely he will convince this jury that he deserves life in prison rather than the death penalty, so morgan, most would say that if there were any case for the death penalty, this one would be it. >> heidi zhou-castro reporting live from fort hood texas, thank you. >> george zimmerman will ask cleared to cover some of his legal fees, an attorney for the former neighborhood watch volunteer filed his motion, asking the state to cover between $200,000 and $300,000 in legal fees. a florida jury acquitted him last month. he was charged in the shooting death of trayvon martin. now, because he was acquitted, state law requires florida to pay all of his legal costs. >> two teams battling for first place in the n.l. central started a key three-game series last night. john henry smith is here to tell us about a wild finish between
the cardinals and reds. >> this is the greatest time of year, football starting, baseball pennant heating up. the national league central has seemed like a two horse race, but as the track announcer hollers down the stretch they come, the reds lurking in third place, 2.5 games out of top spot. the visiting reds jumped on top of the cardinals 4-0 before cardinal sluggers jumped all over reds pitching, matt holliday going yard. in the seventh, basis full of cardinals, craig cleared said bases with hills first career grand-slam home run, 7-10 with the bases loaded this season. that was his most impressive clutch knock, the cards win 8-6 and take sole possession of first place. miguel cabrera continued his march toward sect straight triple crown and m.v.p. awards. he went 1-4, but it was a long
one, pounding it out of the park for his 11th home run in the month of august and 43rd of the year, three behind chris davis of baltimore. in the seventh, bob melton was so worried about cabrera that he walked him. cab cab unimpressed. it was a good move. fielder flights out to end the threat. a's hold on for an 8-6 win. >> in tennis, the last grand slam of 2013 is underway in flushing new york, day one of the u.s. open featured several top players in action, including number one ranked serena williams. her first round match looked far from easy, but on the court very easy, williams oftenned 6-0, 6-1. >> james blake, the number four player in the world said his career will end, announcing his retirement monday at the u.s. open. his career ends with 10 single
titles and three grand slam finals two of which came at the u.s. open. it looks like johnny man zell had explaining to do. six hours was spent discussing allegations that he accepted payments for autographs on multiple occasions. there is no word if the ncaa was satisfied with manziel's explanation or if his status for the opener is in doubt. >> tiger's bad back has him backing out of a charity event this week. tiger woods says he has withdrawn from the challenge in vernon new york to rest his aching back. this past weekend at the barclays, he seemed to be in significant pain after he said sleeping on a soft mattress stiffened his back. no word on whether he'll be able to go in the championship.
>> tracy mcgrady is calling it quits, averaging 19.6 and 5.6 rebounds in his nba career that started in 1997 when he was drafted straight out of high school. that is your look at morning sports. >> thank you so much, john. i can't believe he's still going on about the soft mattress, hopefully he gets a hard one before friday. >> tiger would be able to afford a better matress. get one, tiger. >> absolutely. thank you so much, john henry smith with sports. one very short trip, but a very steep price. astronauts are ponying up big rides for a ride in outer space. >> he fought the taliban and saved the lives of fellow soldier. he collects the nation's highest military honor.
spreading in northern california. they've already burned nearly 225 square miles. the blaze is edging closer to a reservoir where san francisco gets its drinking water. >> extreme floods and land slides blamed for at least 13 deaths in mexico. >> regular flights to the edge of space will soon be a reality. two companies are preparing the trip for space tourists. we have more from hong kong. >> space, the final holiday frontier, the place of many childhood dreams may not be within reach. two corporations are expected to begin scheduled flights outside the earth's atmosphere. >> our aim is to make space affordable to everyone.
we would like to also get people who may have dreams when they're young to want to go to space, they will be our clients. we have parents who buy ticket for their children and give them as a present, and retired people. >> 250 customers have signed up globally, about half that virgin, richard branson's company has opened an office in asia hoping to attract interest from china's new wealthy. >> we expect to sell 250 tickets the first year. we will be sure that it will triple from the figure we are talking about. >> from it's space port in the u.s., the ultimate experience is offered. clients are trained as astronauts and co pilot the vehicle for an adventure that lasts just six minutes. it's enough for one of the first customers, a self described
adventure travel junkie. >> i will trust the company. this is not new technology, something that's been there for years and i like to be a part of this new generation, i like to be the pioneer. >> this is a replica of the vehicle that will take the customers into space. it's billing smart one, described by the company that designed it as a reusable sub on oorbital space vehicle. >> the client list includes d.j.'s and super models. it's first 100 customers are described as space pioneers. once up and running, it will operate four flights a day. it's one small step for wealthy tourists, but one giant leap for space tourism. >> that was craig leeson in hong
kong. >> j.p. penny shares will be watched today after it lost its biggest backer. bill akman sold his shares in the company after he and the penny board had a brawl over leadership. >> starbucks won't cut hours for its workers in anticipation of the health care allow going into effect. showered schultz said his company won't use the new law as an excuse to alter benefits. the law, which goes into effect in january, requires companies with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance to those who work 30 hours or more a week. >> chile has had snow and rainfall for the first time in 40 years in the desert. there are mud slides and traffic nightmares. residents are making the most of
the very unusual weather. >> for the first time since vietnam, two living soldiers from the same battle have been awarded the medal of honor, the nation's highest military honor. monday, president obama awarded ty carter, being honored for saving fellow soldiers in afghanistan in 2009. that will do it for this edition of the news. news at the top of everying le hour and of course, you can log on to aljazeera.com for the latest head lines. we encourage you to join the conversation right there. thank you so much for watching. i look forward to seeing you soon.